Top Electronic Health Record Systems
The medical software marketplace has become very clouded as companies from other industries and new startups are releasing EHR software systems. The attention is largely a result of the federal “Meaningful Use” incentives that can help offset the cost to the hospital or clinic.
Some vendors have risen to the top as the most often selected and best rated.
On the inpatient side, Epic EHR is a juggernaut, growing at a rapid rate and winning the majority of the deals they compete for. Cerner is a large, established vendor that is still winning many of the smaller hospitals that can’t (or believe they can’t) get an acceptable level of service from Epic. Epic’s perinatal and lab systems are immature and weak spots when competing with Cerner.
Both Epic and Cerner offer ambulatory solutions, which are predictably preferred by hospitals systems already running the inpatient EHR. For independent clinics, or hospitals running other HISs, some of the top selected vendors include Centricity, Greenway, Allscripts, NextGen, e-MDs, and athenahealth.
It’s easier than event to identify the recommended EHR vendors that serve your area and are a match for your organization’s needs.
Elements of an EHR
A few examples of critical elements that an electronic health record should include:
Allergies, Medications – Typically both are stored in the system’s database for easy reporting and updating. Intelligent EHRs offer drug/drug interaction and drug/allergy interaction, so providers are alerted if prescribing a drug that would create an interaction.
Encounter Documents – The provider should be able to enter their notes in free-text, by dictation, or by completing forms. Most often, a combination is available. The form-driven encounter can help streamline the encounter with the patient. Forms can assist the provider in accomplishing and documenting tasks required by various initiatives such as PQRS and MU.
Interfaces – While you may not have interfaces in place when going live, you will certainly want these down the road as your EHR usage increases and matures. Orders can be sent out and results can be returned. Hospital records can be received, information can be sent to immunization registries, many other scenarios are possible with a capable interface engine and expertise.
Some capabilities are important to your health IT infrastructure but may not be included within the EHR. These are a couple examples:
Secure Messaging: This may or may not be accessible within the software, but providers will want to be sure the messaging is documented in the patient chart. Automated secure messages opens additional doors, sending, for example, patient visit reminders, normal lab results, after-visit summaries, etc.
ePrescribing: Regardless of how this is accomplished, this is a critical functional for any EMR. Ideally, the HealthRecord.US team looks for ePrescribing relationship directly between the software vendor and SureScripts. Requiring middleware can complicate this essential process.
As you begin your journey, we will give you a running start in comparing top-notch EHR vendors.
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